Did you know you can use the Banksia Swim Expansion pattern to make a comfy lounge tank with built in support?
Picking your size
The Banksia Tank comes with sewing-cup size D cup (4” difference between Over Bust and Full Bust measurement) or a B cup (2” difference) and with narrow shoulder pieces. Most folks will not need to do a FBA to increase the size of the bralette or tank (Leila wears 40H US Bra size RTW and makes a Size F, D cup Banksia).
We recommend choosing your size based primarily on your Under Bust measurement, and if necessary, you can grade out from the underarm to the hip size on your tank outer to accommodate your hip measurement.
Tank support options
When making the Banksia Bralette you lots of options for providing support, including a double-layer of fashion-fabric at the front and at the back. With the tank, you'll need to be mindful of how many layers of fabric you'd be happy to wear- if you make the inner bralette from a double-layer of fashion-fabric, this means that there'll be 3 layers of fabric once you add the tank outer.
In the Swim Tank instructions for the Banksia Swim Expansion, the default support and construction is a powermesh front piece, powermesh slings and a swimsuit fabric back piece and band. Swimsuit fabric generally has more spandex and is firmer than the fabrics than what you'd make your Banksia Bralette from.
Depending on your desired use for the tank, you may wish to dial up the support
by cutting a powermesh bralette Front, in addition to the powermesh Support Slings.
If comfort is priority, you can use your 4-way-stretch knit for the inner bralette, either including or omitting the slings.
In terms of support for the inner bralette you could choose;
- Powermesh front, back and slings (very supportive but difficult to put on and take off)
- Powermesh front and slings, fashion fabric back (still supportive but easier to put on and take off)
- Front and back single layer fashion-fabric with powermesh slings (not a huge amount of support provided, but the slings will lightly support and separate the breasts)
- Front and back pieces two layers of fashion fabric, with powermesh slings (could be quite thick, but will provide a bit more support than the previous option)
If you have larger breasts we recommend lining at least the front piece with powermesh in addition to adding the powermesh support slings.
If you have smaller breasts that are either wide-set or small enough that they don't touch, you could omit the powermesh slings in all versions as their primary purpose it to separate the breasts.
To make a Banksia Lounge Tank
• Cut View B Front and Back (tank) in 4-way-knit
You'll cut the front and bank tank pieces from the Banksia Swim Expansion out of fashion fabric, instead of swimwear fabric. We particularly love bamboo spandex because it's cool to the touch and feels great against the skin, but you could also experiment with fabrics with 2-way-stretch (such as merino).
• Select your fabric and support options
Because the Banksia Tank isn’t attached to the bralette at the band, the
outer fabric of the tank won’t provide any additional support, like it does in the Banksia Bralette. You'll want to have in mind what you want to use the tank for when deciding how much support you'll need.
• Use the Swim and Bralette Instructions
Sew up the lounge tank using the Steps 1-11 for View B, Swim Tank instructions from the Banksia Swim Expansion instructions, and then switch to the Banksia Bralette booklet for the instructions to apply the fold-over elastic